If you’ve seen Netflix’s The Witcher, which has a cool connection to Game of Thrones, you know Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia speaks in a different accent than the other characters on the show. In Season 1, Geralt is established as being an outsider and Cavill felt the way to showcase that was to develop an accent entirely unique to the character. How did he come up with that? Cavill says he looked to real life for inspiration.
You look at England, for example, there are a vast variety of regional accents across a very, very small space. And actually the Continent would be something very similar. So for me it wasn’t necessarily about giving Geralt a specific accent which was different from everyone else, because that would be impossible because there are a lot of English accents and eventually you’re gonna run into someone who has a similar accent because they are trying something different. So for me, it was about bringing a voice to Geralt which was expressing the essence of who he is in the books and bringing that to the space in the format that was allowed within the show.
It sounds like Henry Cavill had a lot of freedom to develop Geralt’s accent. The Witcher -- which was one of our favorite shows of 2019 -- is an adaptation of the books by Andrzej Sapkowski, but also its own entity. So there was room for Cavill to make Geralt’s accent special and separate from even The Witcher video games, where Geralt spoke in an American accent to differentiate himself from everyone else.
In the books, Geralt speaks in the Rivian accent, which he adopted when he took on the name Geralt of Rivia. However, Geralt isn’t originally from there and on the page, it’s probably hard to gauge exactly how the accent should sound. Speaking with TheWrap, Henry Cavill, who almost blinded himself filming The Witcher, said that he took his job very seriously.
Mythology-wise, there are a lot of changes from the books. And there is only so much that can be done. And for me, as a performer in the show, it was my job to bring my performance and everyone else was allowed to bring their performances, separately. Yes, there is in the books, certainly, a Rivian accent.